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This guy is now following me on Twitter. I don’t mind posting it, because it’s a business with a web site, but one wonders, why is a business that installs M-16′s in Hummers following a housewife from Georgia? Will I get a Hummer (Salsa red, please, tan leather interior so as to match Carmina)?
Sweet Daddio thinks it’s because I compared the purr of Gracie to a Duramax diesel, and that’s one of their services- installing diesel engines in Hummers, and it is one of those randomly generated things.
I prefer to think it’s more personal than that. I prefer to think some dude in California who plays with obscenely large cars for a living was enchanted with my scintillating tweets.
When one is a housewife from Georgia, one has to find excitement where one can.
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7am on a Saturday morning finds Sweet Daddio and I sitting in our respective living room chairs, each with a laptop, reading to each other the Statesboro Police Report from yesterday. Only now he’s looking at JohnBoy and Billy video spoofs.
What to you do for fun?
They are a’blowin’ through the Toot household.
I’d like to get both bathrooms renovated first. And give the shrubberies a haircut. And I have absolutely NO idea what we’d do with #3 and his Truck Project.
Whatever it is, it can only be good.
But for now, it’s Friday, which means Movie Night (Peter Sellers Pink Panther) and something tasty and unredeeming for supper- Nachoes del Toot.
Nachoes del Toot
2 big bags of corn tortilla chips, laid out on a couple of cookie sheets
2 cans of refried beans
2 cans of sliced black olives
1 big jar of your favorite salsa
1 big bag of shredded Co-Jack cheese
1-8oz carton of sour cream
Stir up the beans so they’re soft, then dab them over the corn chips so they’re spread out pretty much evenly.
Sprinkle the olive evenly over the chips and beans.
Do the same with the salsa.
Then do it again with the cheese.
Put this mess into a 400 degree oven and bake until it’s bubble and all melty.
Attempt to neatly portion it onto plates, with a nice glob of sour cream and more salsa.
I’ve made it abundantly clear, this torrid love affair I have with food. My next door neighbor called with an offer too good to refuse. “I’ve made reservations for 2 for the Culinary Arts School Graduation Project, wanna come?” For a paltry $10, one gets a 5 course meal, attentively served by waiters in black.
Here’s what Lisa and I had for lunch today. $10, people, remember that.
1)Scandinavian smoked trout, potato crisp and dilled cream
2)Wisconsin beer and cheese soup, handmade pretzel
3)Buffalo tenderloin carpaccio, truffled field greens, Iowa maytag blue cheese
4)Juniper roasted pheasant, wild rice corn cake, bratwurst and exotic mushroom ragout
5)Sour cream cake, tart cherry ice cream, candied mint crisps
We shared the table with 2 other couples, and the conversation was pleasant. The food was…wow. With the exception of the sour cream cake that was heavy and dry, it was all delicious. The buffalo carpaccio was paper thin, perfectly seared around the outside and nicely raw in the middle and buttery tender. The smoked trout. Well. They could have just brought me a whole plate full of that and called it a day. The ice cream was perfect. Sour cherries, very cream, like creamier than Hagen Daz, if you can imagine such a thing, with these little shards of minty sugar crisps, like bits of stained glass, stuck in the top of the ice cream. The soup was good, but a little bit out of place. It was, after all, something you might make for a Packer’s tailgate party.
The theme of the meal was Cuisine of the Central Plain. When I heard that a couple of days ago, I thought “what…cornbread, with corn on the cob, and Wisconsin Dairy products?” But that’s half the fun of these lunches. You don’t know til you get there. And all for $10.
That was the headliner on the Fine Cooking article about fried mac and cheese. Doesn’t that sound….um….really, really….er…good? So I read the recipe. And it sounds mouthwateringly good.
This is where you say something like “Rootie, I don’t ever want to hear you whine about your weight ever again.”
I’m not a big sweet eater, not even fried sweets like pies or snickers bars, but I do love me something savory and fried. #3 makes these amazing deep fried pickles. Holy cow, they are quite possibly the world’s perfect PMS food. Here’s how he makes them:
Deep Fried pickles
1 large jar of sliced hamburger dill chips
2 cups Bisquick or other baking mix (like Jiffy, Pioneer, whatever)
1 Fry Daddy, filled halfway with shortening/vegetable oil mix, and heated to 400 degrees
Drain the pickles and toss them in the biscuit mix to coat well. Deep fry in handfuls until they’re golden brown- it doesn’t take long, just a few minutes. Drain on a paper towel and serve hot with ranch dressing.
Here it is only 20 after 8 in the morning and I’m wanting some. Maybe this weekend, as a reward for getting the concrete slab all cleared and ready for the Sweet Little Mexican Dudes ™ to come set up the work shed.
I like fried chicken- my mother-in-law makes the most excellent kind, served hot with greens and butterbeans. She is not afraid of a calorie, no she isn’t.
Chicken fried steak, with cream gravy (lots of black pepper) and mashed potatoes. I haven’t made that in a long time. Maybe I’ll put it on the menu for next week, right after I make an appointment with a cardiologist for Sweet Daddio.
There used to be this wonderful little greasy-spoon restaurant near SD’s plant called The Cedars. Everyone ate there, from the county electrical crew to the company president, and we would meet about once a month and have lunch together. They made magnificent fried chicken, fried porkchops, these little thin fried corncakes with jalapenos in them, and the Banana Pudding of the Gods. Oh my word. Homemade vanilla pudding, whipped cream…man alive. Unfortunately they got too big for their britches, opened a new restaurant in Sylvania and closed the one by the plant, and promptly went out of business. I still mourn the loss of the banana pudding (one of the few sweets I’ll actually crave). And their fried chicken? Perfect. Better even than Paula Deen’s at Lady and Sons. And that’s saying something because I’ve had Ms Deen’s chicken and it’s quite worth the trip if you happen to be in the area.
Northern Girl- you come back to Savannah and I’ll treat you to Lady and Sons. You too, Jerseechick, we’ll make it a party.
When Sweet Daddio and I were at Stuffmart a while back, we were ambling through the small appliance section and somehow a FryDaddy appeared in the buggy. I know not how but I protested, saying that we needed one of those things like we need matching Elvis tattoos on our butts. “Oh well,” said SD, “It’s in the buggy, I can’t take it out.” I squawked, and he looked at me with that “I’m a Corporate Vice President and you will not argue with me.” look, which after 23 years of marriage I know not to argue with. He doesn’t use it often, but when he does it’s better to just fold.
Then, we got home with the Fry Daddy and a big bag of breaded okra and…well. The rest is culinary history. I try to keep the Fry Daddy out of view, behind the toilet paper in the storage room, out of sight, out of mind and all that. However, sometimes I’ll be walking the frozen vege aisle at Stuffmart and a bag of breaded okra (and no, baking it is NOT satisfactory) will hurl itself into my buggy and refuse to leave. Sometimes #3 will arrive home with a great big jar of Mount Olive Hamburger Dill Chips, and announce his intentions to fry them. Who am I to argue with a 17 yr old who wants to cook?
Since it’s Thursday, and a most ordinary one at that, I won’t be frying anything for supper tonight. Most likely I’ll be making spaghetti (homemade sauce, with a head of roasted garlic and fresh herbs from the garden) and a soft slab of focaccia. An ordinary meal for an ordinary day.
Saturday, however, all bets are off.
Rootie’s Ordinary Focaccia
1 cup milk, warmed gently
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons (or 1 of those little packets) yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups all purpose flour
Mix the milk, sugar and yeast. Let sit about 10 minutes until it’s nice and foamy. Then stir in the salt and oil. Put all this in a big bowl, and start stirring in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. When all the flour is in, dump the mess on a floured countertop and commence to kneading. OR, if you’re lazy like me and have the equipment, mix all that together in the bowl of a workhorse stand mixer, and let it knead for you for 5 minutes or so, until the dough is nice and elastic and smooth. Coat the dough ball with olive oil, and put it in a warm spot (I set the oven on 100 degrees) to rise for an hour or so, until double.
Pat the dough into a flat rectangle, and put it on a greased (with olive oil) cookie sheet. Use your fingers and poke dimples all in the dough. Drizzle with some more olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked pepper, and anything else you like such as parmesan cheese, sun dried tomatoes, those little cured black olives, chopped herbs (I like rosemary, because I have a huge-arsed rosemary bush in the back yard), whatever. Use your imagination. The dough is a canvas, and the toppings are the art.
Let it rise about 30 minutes- not longer because you don’t want a thick sort of thing.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until its golden brown and delightfully fragrant. Cut into squares, or throw the whole thing down and let people rip chunks out of it.
Dinner was French Toast Casserole. Tasty and expiditious, yes indeed. Recipe follows in a bit.
I went to the store today, for milk and bread, and came home with Lemon Drop mixer and a jar of maraschino cherries. I am my father’s daughter. Mom tells a story of sending him to the store for eggs and he came home with a pecan pie and a bottle of cold duck. The lemon drop was tasty, as was the cherry which had marinated in it. Did you know that a Lemon Drop was Audrey Hepburn’s favorite drink? So says my Mixology book, so it must be true.
Haw…ok, if you read this blog any you know of the drama #3 has caused, with Sheriff’s Deputies and bail-bondspersons and judges and probation officers. Yes indeed. Well. A new development has developed. Turns out, since he dropped out of school (*snicker*) and is under 18, his drivers licence has been changed to “Provisional Status”, essentially meaning he can’t be driving on the road after 6 pm and before 6 am. Which means…he has to be home by 6. Every night. Or else, at someone else’s house but not driving. This provision will last until he turns 18, the end of July. Which means he either cuts back on his work hours and goes to school in the afternoon, which means he won’t be making enough money to pay his fines and fees for his bad behavior, or that he works full time but isn’t in school and therefore won’t be carried on Sweet Daddio’s health insurance, or that he takes evening classes and *I* have to drive him to and fro, which will annoy the heck out of me.
I intend to allow him to come up with a workable solution. I will make sure he understands the deep inconvenience he will cause me, especially since that same hassle will require me to forgo my beloved evening Adult Beverage. He will Owe Me.
French Toast Casserole
1/2 loaf sliced white bread
6 large eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Cut the bread up in cubes, and put into a greased 8×8 casserole dish. Drizzle with the maple syrup.
Mix together the eggs, milk, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt. Pour over the bread. Smoosh it with your hands so the bread is soaked through.Mix together the 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of the soaked bread. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes- it will puff up in a lovely way and get toasty brown on top. Serve with more maple syrup and something salty like bacon or sausage.
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I’ve decided to try naming my posts something that might cause hits from a google search. Pandering? yeah, so what.
Yesterday afternoon my typically partly-cloudy mood (I am rarely chipper or sunny) took a downturn and became stormy with a chance of hail and lightening. I don’t know why. 2 things have changed in recent days. 1) a medication has been added to my already complicated cocktail, this addition is intended to treat a side effect from another medication. and 2) The arthritis beast is rearing his ugly head and yelling at me. Not the hip, oh no. $60,000 worth of surgery and prosthetic devices says that puppy won’t bark no more. This time it’s wrists, hands, and a shoulder that sustained some damage in a car accident.
So, reading all that tells me I am in that low-level chronic pain situation. Again. Like I was with the hip, and funny thing is, it feels exactly the same, only in a different place.
And you know what really works for that kind of pain? Celebrex. Oh yes, it works for pain like gangbusters. It also upsets the balance of lithium in my system to a degree that I go dramatically nuts.I’m not hurting, but the moods, they vacillate between Eat The Baby and Leap In Front Of A Train. Neither act is something I really wish to perform, so Celebrex is out. Motrin works too, good ol’ over-the-counter ibuprofen, in the unrecommended dose of 800mg/6xday. Last time I took that much my psychiatrist actually yelled at me and told me I was crazy (um, yeah…). “Liver damage! Kidneys turning to mush!” he shouted. Yeah, but I can sorta function.
The wrists and shoulder aren’t bothering me 800mg/6xday worth. More like 400mg/2xday. I think even The Good Dr. H would be ok with that, as long as I allow him a grumble and a snide comment first.
So, I don’t know if it’s the new medication (actually it’s a blood pressure med, and my pressure is UP not down so I doubt it’s that( but in my case it’s being used to treat an essential tremor caused by the lithium. Have you ever tried to slice a tomato paper thin while your hands act like you’ve got some sort of palsy? It’s not easy.)
Thing is, I have this freaky history of reacting inappropriately to certain meds. I had to try 4 antidepressants before I found one that didn’t make me psychotic. I went through several sleep meds before finding one that didn’t make me manic and go for 3 days without sleep. Yeah, sleep meds that kept me up, Go figure. So I am wondering if this new thing is making me foul tempered. It’s not even supposed to be something that affects behavior, but it does do something to the central nervous system, so I guess anything is possible.
Maybe it’s none of those things. Maybe I’m just sick and damn tired of picking up everyone elses crap and being told that it’s my job to do so (No, not Sweet Daddio, but my ungrateful children). Yesterday there was an empty ice tray (I think we’re the last people in Bulloch County to still use ice trays instead of an automatic thing) on the counter. I looked at it while I was cutting up something for supper, took my knife, and flung that tray across the room. It felt good. #3 (of all people! Him with the holes in his wall from temper tantrums!) lectured me about how it accomplished nothing to behave that way. I told him it accomplished plenty, that I felt better for having done it and he, with the holes in his wall, had no right to speak to me about temper tantrums.
Last night, as I was heading for bed, I asked #2 to put his dishes in the dishwasher and close the door. Soap was in it, knobs were turned to the proper spot, all he had to do was Close. The. Door. When I got up this morning, his dishes were in the dishwasher, yes and thankyouverymuch, but the door was open. Apparently it was too much to ask for him to give it a little shove.
You know what I want to do now, because it’s a clear and lovely day? I want to drive myself an hour east to Tybee Island and spend some quality time with my camera and some seagulls. Maybe pick up a shell or two, have a bowl of crab stew at The Flying Fish. Change my venue, doncha know. ‘Cept Sweet Daddio’s work is rawther intense at the moment, and if #4 should barf or #3 should inadvertantly set fire to himself he would be unable to abandon work. That’s my job, to deal with medical emergencies.
Poo. Now I’m cranky again. I think I’ll watch Netflix movies today- part 3 of The Forsyte Saga, and Nip/Tuck, my favorite dirty little pleasure.
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Filed under: home and hearth
We have this Bad Bathroom. Really bad, as in last remodeled in 1967, with penicillin green fixtures and sparkley gold linoleum.
We are changing that.
The tub is no longer green, but a crisp white, thanks to a fancy-pants epoxy finish applied by your’s truly.
The egregiously ugly orange and green wallpaper is in shreds, filling a black garbage bag.
In the game room are boxes containing a new toilet, a new pedestal sink, oval mirror with a beaded brushed nickel frame, and a matching combination light/fan fixture. There is a new shower curtain with one of those curved rods like you see in hotels. There’s a box of new limestone-type flooring. Vinyl, actually, but it looks like limestone. A gallon of cafe au lait colored paint waits to cover the wall, once all the wiring is done. Some glossy dark chocolate paint will go on the cabinet behind the door. Dark bathroom? Yes, but it has a nice big window that sun shines through most of the day,and it’s a small room. No amount of light colored paint will change that.
All we need now is time. Only Sweet Daddio can do the wiring. I am going to try my hand at laying the floor.
The total cost of this project? Less than $1500, because we’re doing it all ourselves. Because we can.
Pictures when it’s done.